Sunday, 1 July 2012

SANTANDER LAUNCHES NATIONAL AWARD SCHEME WITH UP TO £50K PRIZES FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISES ACROSS THE MIDLANDS

Social enterprises in the Midlands are being invited to enter the Social Enterprise Development Awards, a new community business support programme from Santander, for the opportunity to win up to £50,000 to help fund business growth.

The awards are targeted at established social businesses working in one of the following three areas: improving social inclusion, supporting employment or creating a greener environment. There are three prize levels - £50,000, £30,000 or £15,000 - dependent on turnover, for organisations with the potential to increase their community impact but in need of a financial boost.

To enter the competition, social enterprises can complete a short entry form downloadable from www.santanderseda.co.uk detailing how an award would be used to grow their business to benefit the community. The deadline for applications is the 2 July 2012 and the winners will be announced in September 2012. 

Jon Howe, Divisional Managing Director, Midlands & Wales, Santander Corporate Banking, said: “The Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards are part of Santander’s commitment to supporting small businesses in the UK, helping to support economic development across the country. The Midlands is a hugely important part of the UK economy and we’re sure that the calibre of entrants here will be exceptionally high. Social enterprises play a vital role in local communities, helping to deliver social regeneration, and we’re looking for those with the potential to expand their work.

The prize fund of £2.28m is split equally across eight regions – Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, London & South East, South West, North West and North East. There will be nine winners selected from each region, three for each award category, giving a £285,000 total prize fund in each area.

Alongside the prize money, winning social enterprises will receive access to support from Santander including mentoring programmes, funding for internships and university business courses and training.

Birmingham & Black Country Community Foundation (BBCCF), are administering the SEDA fund within the Midlands; winning organisations will also receive valuable input from the BBCCF and will work with them to assess the social impact of their business and the prize fund on local communities.

In 2011, a series of regional SEDA award schemes were run which saw 15 social enterprises around the UK awarded £475,000 between them. In the Midlands, the winners were Jericho Enterprises CIC, Freax Limited and Cycle Chain.

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